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Ephemeral Films

Ephemeral films are non-fiction films usually made for educational, industrial, or promotional purposes. The two classic ephemeral film collections found on the Archive are the Prelinger Archives and AV Geeks.

In addition to these classic collections, you may view guidance films from the post-World War II British government, drive-in movie intermission ads, and videos documenting the history of San Francisco from 1906 to the early 21st Century. Many of these films are available for free download.

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9,891
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Year
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2017
71
1999
59
1998
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1997
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1996
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1995
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Stock Footage
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High Definition
954
vhs
567
NASA
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Educational Film
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16mm Film
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425
michael aldrich
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nasa
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shaping san francisco
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nasa; langley research center
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encyclopaedia britannica educational corporation
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national film board of canada
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English
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French
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Spanish
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German
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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PeriscopeFilm
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The Keystone State is the subject of “Pennsylvania Land Of Decision.” Produced by the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce in the 1950s, we’re told in the color film’s opening seconds how the state has played a pivotal roll in the founding and continued success of the United States, from colonization and freedom of religion to the steel industry. Pennsylvania was the geographic key of the original 13 Colonies, and remains so as we look at the state’s seaports at mark  01:18 . Every...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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eye 14
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Educational Films
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eye 14
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Shaping San Francisco
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During the national marches against the NRA and the accelerating madness of mass shootings, San Franciscans turned out in large numbers to join the protest. This is at the corner of 7th and Market as demonstrators walked by for 4 minutes, but the entire length of the march took more than 45 minutes to pass... estimates put the crowd between 35,000 and 80,000... count them here!
Topics: guns, war, violence, mass shootings, protests, demonstrations, NRA, anti-NRA, National Rifle...
Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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This 1960 black and white documentary about Eskimos was part of a 1960-1962 television series known as “Expedition!” with host Colonel John D. Craig. This segment was photographed by Father Bernard Hubbard, the ‘glacier priest’ and an American geologist and explorer. Col. Craig introduces the show and there’s a “Place Commercial Here” pause ( 1:16 ). Father Hubbard, now the narrator, lived a year among these Eskimos ( 1:18 - 2:12 ). His focus was on King Island in the Bering Sea...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This historic film, which is silent, shows NASA research projects in the 1970s with unmanned aircraft, drones, and remotely piloted vehicles. The film begins with shots of a radio controlled airplane flying off what appears to be the lakebed of Edwards Air Force Base. The plane is fitted with smoke pods that allow it to be seen from a great distance, assisting the operator in making a landing. At 2:22 the arrangement is shown in a close-up. At 3:15 a lifting body, probably the Hyper III, is...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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This film, THE POWER OF SUGGESTION (1971) presents the U.S. Army's Suggestion Program. The Suggestion Program was a Vietnam War era program intended to save vital Pentagon dollars, and it still exists today in some form. While some of this film is a bit laughable — showing what appears to be ridiculous levels of government waste — the message remains current. The opening scenes depict a re-enactment of a film director struggling to record a scene in which a child is supposed to mimic an...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
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PeriscopeFilm
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This 1964 color film on Austria is one of a series of Pan Am New Horizons travelogues and was produced by Film Services (London) Limited. The soundtrack has beautiful music. It opens with a long shot of a Pan Am Jet Clipper landing before the jet bridge arrives, the Captain opens the door, and passengers deplane at Vienna Airport (:09-:54). People exit a VW Standard Microbus at the Vienna Intercontinental Hotel; the women wear short white gloves and the men are in suits. (:55- 1:10 ). A double...
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PeriscopeFilm
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This historic film from Republic Aviation shows the company's ill-fated SD-3 Snooper drone during flight tests at the U.S. Army's Yuma proving grounds. The SD-3 was the result of an industry-wide competition for a short-range reconnaissance drone that could be launched in the field. The complete drone system including ground equipment designated AN/USD-3 and the drone itself was referred to either also as AN/USD-3 or simply as SD-3 (with "SD" usually being interpreted as...
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PeriscopeFilm
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Dating to 1951, this episode of the Armed Forces Screen Report entitled RETURN OF THE ZIPPER FLEET which shows how World War II naval ships were mothballed after V-J Day, and then re-activated as the Korean War escalated. At 2:44 , the film shows how 2/3rds of the WWII fleet was put into reserve. In order to protect the ships against rust, plastic sheeting cocoons and silica gel dehumidifiers were placed all over the ships to protect them from corrosion. The "zipper fleet" was one of...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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This post-WWII film explains movement control, and the point control of traffic by transportation officers and military police. As the narrator explains, since a modern Army involves many mechanized vehicles, the MP and the movement of traffic are essential for victory. Various scenarios including blackout conditions, combat conditions, and rear area traffic control are mentioned. The film shows techniques of military vehicle traffic control at intersections, bridges and problem areas. A...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
by Weiss, Donna
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Portrait of Donna Weiss, a Philadelphia singer and songwriter, who is blind. Her career began at Philadelphia's Suburban Station where passers-by have been serenaded by her for many years. With her guide dog Conner, Donna negotiates her route through the city, performs in a local restaurant, and shows how she copes with blindness
Topics: Weiss, Donna, Weiss, Donna, Blind musicians, Blind musicians
Educational Films
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Educational Films
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Educational Films
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This color film is a long advertisement for the Caterpillar No. 14 Series B motor grader and produced by the Caterpillar Tractor Co. The film opens with the grader speedily approaching and passing the camera (:15-25). The grade moves dirt along an edge of a road and shown standing still from multiple angles while its stats are spoken (:26- 1:45 ). Shown grading along a road ( 2:00 - 2:15 ) and spreading earth ( 2:15 - 2:30 ). The blade beam has 5” of clearance,(shown with a tape measure (...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
by WQED (Television station : Pittsburgh, Pa.); National Audiovisual Center
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Produced by WQED, Pittsburgh
Topics: McCulloch, James W, McCulloch, James W, Bank of the United States (1816-1836), Bank of the United...
PeriscopeFilm
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This 1960s color film about Fiji and New Caledonia is one of a series of Pan Am New Horizons travelogues. The film opens with a Cabin Cruiser boat headed toward New Caledonia. The passengers are in bathing suits (:23-:39). A man drives off the boat and comes up with two lobsters (:39-:58). The boat lands, and the passengers get off for a picnic on the beach. The lobsters are cooked on a grill and a large basket of food is opened and served ( 1:00 - 2:50 ). Noumea is the capital of New Caledonia...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
by Health Communications, Inc; U.S. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Inc. (Pompano Beach, Fla.); Camelot Communications, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.)
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"Film production by Camelot Communications, Inc., Minneapolis, MN."
Topics: Children of alcoholics, Child psychotherapy, Group therapy for Children, Alcoholism, Child...
This short film by the United States Navy OPERATION SUNSHINE is narrated by Edward R. Murrow. It covers the successful secret mission of Operation Sunshine, code name for the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) voyage from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean via the North Pole. It opens with footage of the canopy of ice that covers the Arctic Ocean (:13). A dog sled team crosses the frozen tundra (:36) and an ice breaker ship tries unsuccessfully to plow through the mass (:43). The USS Nautilus crosses...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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This 1950s U.S. Navy training film gives a summary of the U.S. Navy's Code of Military Justice with regards to a Summary Court Martial. Summary Court-Martial. The film shows the operation of military courts and the Judge Advocate General (JAG). Special Courts Martial and General Court Martial are also briefly discussed at the 2:45 mark. The sailor accused in this film is charged with being drunk on duty, as reported by the petty officer on duty. A summary court-martial provides a simplified...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
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This military public announcement color film is about the dangers to military aircraft by the Albatross / Goonie bird population on the Hawaiian Midway Atoll. It dates to the late 1950s, as 1957 numbers are given. The film was part of a campaign by the U.S. military to be allowed to curb bird populations so that Midway would remain a viable landing area for aircraft. However eventually the island was abandoned by the military and reverted to an island strictly for the birds -- and today it is a...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
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PeriscopeFilm
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Primary Flight Training: Race Track Patterns, Part II (MN-3474k) is the second short U.S. Navy training film from 1945 that discusses the basics of flying a race track pattern. The film features a Navy instructor explaining concepts to his student, and it uses footage of a Navy N2S Stearman flying the patterns while supplementing with graphics to illustrate the concepts and issues new pilots will need to understand to perform the primary maneuver of the film—the 180-degree power-on approach....
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This 1960 color film on Thailand is one of a series of Pan Am New Horizons travelogues. It is narrated by Ed Stokes and is produced by Movietonews, Inc. It begins with a colorful ‘focus leader’ for the film operator (:06-:50). It opens with a monk sitting on a rock overlooking the landscape below, followed by quick images of the Wat Pho Complex ( 1:00 - 1:18 ), a woman performing a traditional dance ( 1:19 ), and a kite dancing in the sky ( 1:30 ). The New Horizons credits are shown ( 1:30...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This 1950s color film is half video and half cartoon animation about enriching farm land through third-dimension farming, defined here as breaking up the hard pan using a Caterpillar sub-tiller and attachments. It is sponsored by the Caterpillar Tractor Company. An animator serves as the narrator, who spends time looking at the camera talking. It opens with a farm lane leading to a barn. Cattle graze and a large flock of sheep create dust as they go down a hill (:44- 1:07 ). The animator talks...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
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DOWN THE POTOMAC is a 12 minute silent film, produced by the Edison Company in 1917. It depicts a traveler in a small boat, being pulled by a horse, along the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The trip starts at its north-west terminus in Cumberland, Maryland, and heads 184 miles south east to Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The canal, completed in 1850, was in operation between 1831-1924, and was one of the last extant mule-hauled towpath canals built in the north east region of the fledgling...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
by Minnesota Theatre Company, Minneapolis
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Traces the development of the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. Shows the backstage functions of rehearsals, costume work, and set construction. Includes excerpts from Hamlet, The Miser, Three sisters, and Death of a salesman, with Broadway and Hollywood personalities such as Hume Cronin, Jessica Tandy, George Grizzard, Rita Gam, Zoe Caldwell, and Lee Richardson and the directors Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Douglas Cambell
Topics: Theater, Theater
This promotional film for the Bofors SR-375 anti-submarine rocket system dates to the 1960s. The Swedish system was deployed with the Indian Navy in the 1970s. It is a forward throwing rocket launcher which is deployed using sonar. Anti-submarine mortars and rocket launchers are essentially artillery pieces deployed on ships for the purpose of sinking submarines by a direct hit with a small explosive charge. They are often larger versions of the mortar or rocket launchers used by infantry and...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example: "01:00:12:00 -- President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference." This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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Presented by the Jacobs Manufacturing Company, designer and builder of engine brakes for large trucks and semis, this film shows some of the research conducted by engineers to reduce noise.  The sponsor of this film brought the revolutionary Jacobs Engine Brake on the market since 1961. The company is now known as Jacobs Vehicle Systems, Inc. It's not exactly clear why Jacobs produced the film, but engine brakes can be notoriously loud, so the company may have viewed this film as an important...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
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This late 1950s color film opens with the Columbus Film Festival The ‘Chris’ Award, received for this documentary on heartbeat research by Dr. Paul Dudley White, a leading cardiologist. It was presented by the Douglas Aircraft Company as a scientific venture. A California grey whale swims, emerges and blows water (:43- 1:20 ). The Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea are ice covered ( 1:20 - 1:40 ). A vintage globe shows the migration path to warmer waters off Baha, California for breeding ( 1:41 -...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
New Hampshire is the topic of this film from the short travelogue films by Dudley Productions (:10), part of the company's "This Land of Ours" series of educational movies. A part of the New England section of the nation, it is full of history such as the old covered bridges ( 1:00 ) and towns and cities older than the nation itself ( 1:03 ). One of the historical meeting houses is Meeting House Hill ( 1:07 ) and this is the birthplace of Daniel Webster ( 1:11 ). He was an American...
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PeriscopeFilm
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One of a series of films about camouflage produced during WWII, THE BIVOUAC AREA describes how airplane surveillance of roads can make it difficult to conceal the location of convoys and their bivouac (a temporary camp without tents or cover, used especially by soldiers.). For this reason, a close examination of any potential bivouac area must be made. At  2:24 , a truck convoy moves in close column on a road, making it a sitting duck for enemy aircraft. The recommended procedure is seen at ...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
movies
eye 21
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PeriscopeFilm
movies
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We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example like: "01:00:12:00 -- President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference." This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
movies
eye 21
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PeriscopeFilm
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This film by Willard Pictures Inc., U.S. Navy Flight Surgeon, was made in 1951. This picture centers around naval flight surgeons; detailing the training requirements and what daily duties may be. It opens with the view of Corsair airplanes landing on an aircraft carrier. We watch as another plane crashes due to pilot error (:58) and are asked what the surgeon could have done to inhibit the crash. The US Navy’s slogan is to “keep as many men at as many guns for as many days as possible” (...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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Hosted by filmmaker Burton Holmes and made by him in 1946, HISTORIC NEW ENGLAND shows many of the fascinating sights of New England the beginnings of the USA. Scenes include the stone tower at Newport, Rhode Island, Plymouth Rock, Boston including downtown and its parks, Lexington and Concord, covered bridges, Vermont farms and dairy products, Maine boat builders and sailors, Longfellow's home, Walden Pond, Salem's Witch House, the Mt. Washington Cog Railway, and more. We encourage viewers to...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This silent film, a home movie shot on 16mm, shows a U.S. Army exercise on July 18-31, 1930 near Fort Hoyle, Maryland. This was part of a program called the Civilian Military Training Camp system, which operated in the years between the wars. Fort Hoyle was first established in 1922 on Gunpowder Neck in Harford County and became a part of Edgewood Arsenal in 1940. The 1st Field Artillery Brigade is the primary unit shown in the film. The film begins with images of a U.S. Army encampment with...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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This 16mm silent home movie dates to the 1950s and shows a vacation in Italy that starts on the highway from Rome towards Venice. It starts at ;12 with a visit to Trevi, followed at :29 with the garden at Fonti del Clilunno. At :57 is the Monastery of St. Francis at Assizi / Assisi. San Marino is seen at 1;33 with a cattle auction taking place. Venice starts at 4:17 , with St. Mark's Square seen at 4:29 . The Bridge of Sighs is seen at 7:30 . The Lido is seen in twilight at 8:20 . A trip...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
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Coronation Naval review. Holland engulfed by Sea. East German revolt. War ends in Korea. A bomb blast vaporizes houses
Project Mohole was an ambitious attempt to drill through the Earth's crust into the Mohorovi i discontinuity, and to provide an Earth science complement to the high profile Space Race. The project was initially led by the American Miscellaneous Society (AMSOC) with funding from the National Science Foundation. Phase One was executed in spring 1961. Five holes were drilled off the coast of Guadalupe Island, Mexico, the deepest at 183 m (601 ft) below the sea floor in 3,500 m (11,700 ft) of...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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This color film “Highlights 1970” was produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It opens with NASA photos of the March 7, 1970 total solar eclipse (:35-:52). Two types of weather satellites were already transmitting data 1970: the TIROS Operational Satellite and the Nimbus (:53- 1:15 ). In aeronautics, NASA continued researching wake turbulence using a C-47 and smoke from the tower, with footage shown of these otherwise invisible air patterns ( 1:16 - 1:30 ). An Earth...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
by Carrier, Joseph K; Peak, Timothy; Kansas Center for Mental Retardation and Human Development; Parsons State Hospital and Training Center. Media Support Services
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Rating: Highly recommended
Topics: Education of Intellectually Disabled, Verbal Learning
PeriscopeFilm
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Co-produced by Empire Photosound Incorporated and Image India Films, e.g., India is a short 1966 film that recaps the 1965 4-H Club Foundation’s International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) program, sponsored by International Minerals and Chemical Corporation. The film begins with Dana Andrews (famous 1940s actor) describing the need for the youth of the world to invest themselves in agriculture and food production in order to meet the growing demands of feeding the world. Andrews explains that...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This is an unclassified 1940s black and white U.S. Navy Training Film, MN 2403. A jet unit, which gives a thrust to aircraft, is shown by itself. The parts are shown up-close: the copper nozzle exhaust, the electrically fired igniter, blow-off disk, the mounting lugs, adjustable band, and the chamber, and blow-off disk cap ( 1:08 - 2:53 ). They are shown stored in individual crates ( 2:54 - 3:20 ). Shown is checking the firing and releasing gear on the plane. Electrical wires are connected to...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
Educational Films
by Judicial Conference of the United States
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VHS format
Topics: Gibbons, Thomas, 1757-1826, Ogden, Aaron, 1756-1839, Gibbons, Thomas, 1757-1826, Ogden, Aaron,...
Produced in the early 1960s by the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Dental Association, and directed by Cal Dunn, "The Challenge of Dentistry" is a film designed to promote good dental habits and encourage students to consider careers in dentistry. The film begins with the story of Mrs. Evelyn Carson, who is appearing on a TV show to discuss her successful fight against cancer. A dentist named Dr. Ford appears in the television studio -- the man who detected Carson's cancer...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This 1960s unclassified color film “Breakthrough” is about using PERT, the Navy’s technique for managing large-scale R&D programs, to develop nuclear-powered submarines and Polaris missiles two years ahead of schedule. It was produced by the United States Navy Special Projects Office and Merit Film Productions. A Polaris missile launches from a submarine (:38- 1:25 ). The USS George Washington moves across the ocean’s surface ( 1:26 - 1:45 ). A man speaks to a small group of...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
movies
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This silent 16mm home movie was made by someone who worked for (or possibly even owned) the Gettelman Brewery in Milwaukee. The Gettelman Brewery was established on Milwaukee's west side in 1856, and was justly famous for its brews $1000 Beer and Milwaukee's Best. (The $1000 label was a guarantee: the brewery promised $1,000 to anyone who could prove that Gettelman didn't use anything but pure malt, hops and water.) Gettelman never cracked the top four of nationally known Milwaukee breweries;...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This short film showing MILITARY SONGS begins with the MARINES' HYMN ...from the halls of Monteczuma ....to the shores of Tripoli. At 3:30 THE CAISSONS GO ROLLING ALONG is sung by Robert Weede...over hill...over dale... Finally at 6:30 is the anthem of the U.S. Navy, ANCHORS AWEIGH sung by Conrad Thibault...anchors aweigh my boy, anchors aweigh... We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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Made in 1945 during WWII by the Bureau of Aeronautics as an industrial incentive film, "The Admiral's Reply" features Navy Cross winner Read Admiral Dewitt C Ramsey, speaking to the American people on why we must win the war, and why we must see the fight to the end. The film was viewed as necessary by leaders such as Ramsey, because by the time it was made -- 4 years into World War II -- many Americans were disillusioned by the pace of the war, and unwilling to remain at industrial...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
This black and white film from the 1940s was produced for the National Fire Service by the Ministry of Information in Great Britain. The National Fire Service was formed in 1941 and comprised of men and women. Both wear NFS uniforms. For civil defense purposes, the country is divided into regions and further into divisions and subdivisions, which then control stations. This breakdown is shown on a map and diagramed (:45- 3:40 ). The steps are now shown. The fire call comes in and the fire...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition
PeriscopeFilm
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Shot in January of 1973, this raw, silent footage shows stall tests of the U.S. Navy's E-2A Hawkeye at Pax River, Maryland. The aircraft shown is likely the prototype, which started flying in 1971. Although by 1973 the aircraft had been considered operational, the type suffered a long teething process and underwent significant upgrades into the 1980s. The film shows the pilot of the Hawkeye intentionally placing the aircraft in a stall attitude and then falling off to recover. The aircraft's...
Topics: Stock Footage, High Definition